Spider-Man Still Has The Best Superhero Movie Ending Of All Time

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Spider-Man Still Has The Best Superhero Movie Ending Of All Time

"This is my gift, my curse. Who am I? I'm Spider-Man."

Superheroes rose to prominence in the mid-20th century through comic books and Saturday morning serials, with far goofier takes on the likes of Captain America, Captain Marvel and other icons in the making.

Richard Donner whet our appetites with Superman, and Tim Burton brewed a worldwide sensation with Batman, and Blade really kickstarted the Marvel machine. Yet, Sam Raimi changed Hollywood forever with Spider-Man, arguably the most important movie of its sub-genre, still equipped a spine-tingling ending after two decades.



Released in 2002, the film stars Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker, a science-whiz high-schooler with a crush on the girl next door, Mary-Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) and a best friend (James Franco) who resents his rich dad (Willem Dafoe).

After his Uncle Ben (Cliff Robertson) is murdered by a carjacker, Peter uses his newfound skills from a spider bite to become a friendly neighbourhood web-slinger – however, he soon attracts the unhinged wrath of the Green Goblin.

Tobey Maguire in Spider-Man. Credit: Sony Pictures
Tobey Maguire in Spider-Man. Credit: Sony Pictures

By the end of the film, with Dafoe's villain self-slain and Franco's Harry vowing to avenge his death, Peter's future looks uncertain. Amid that grief, Mary-Jane confesses her love for him, a dream come true after their iconic kiss in the alleyway.

The penny drops. Spider-Man will always have enemies, and he can't risk her safety. After a kiss, he rejects her affection, and walks away into the fall wind.

"Whatever life holds in store for me, I will never forget these words: 'With great power, comes great responsibility.' This is my gift, my curse. Who am I? I'm Spider-Man."


Danny Elfman's music swells – the drums tapping, the strings rising – before quite literally swinging into full operatic motion.

As he flies through New York, running along walls and swan diving through the metropolis, the choir gets louder, culminating on that seminal shot of Spidey on the Empire State Building. It's still the pinnacle of Spidey swinging to this day.

The competition for 'best superhero movie ending ever' is fierce, it must be said: The Dark Knight is an extremely close second; Avengers: Infinity War brought disquiet upon us all; and Logan made me cry more than any other.

But Spider-Man sits in the highest regard because of its spirit. It represents the hero with exact emotional precision: personal compromise and conflict, coming of age and hope. It's the ultimate ending to the ultimate movie of its time.


Spider-Man is on Netflix now, as well as its two sequels.

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Featured Image Credit: Columbia Pictures

Topics: Film & TV, Spider-Man, Film and TV, Entertainment

Cameron Frew
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